Message from the President
Women are going to continue to play tournament tennis but our numbers are dropping. Women juggle work and family and sometimes sports take a back
seat. Or they are playing short-commitment leagues. For some, it’s the money: the equipment, court time and travel can add up to several hundred dollars every week you travel to a tournament. The Tennis Industry
Association claims 18.8 million people play the sport of tennis. Of this number 45% are female and the largest age group is 35+. Interestingly, the great percentage of tennis players are highly educated and have good jobs.
We know these players, we know the league players in our areas, so how do we encourage them to participate in the age group tournaments?
The USTA reports that 50,000 of the 350,000 USTA NTRP League players rated 4.0 and above play
singles yet do not play adult tournaments. Reports also indicate only 7,500 players (men and women) play age group Category 1 Tournaments. There are still 17 million players that are not necessarily members of USTA but play the game at least 25 times a year. We need to be trying to reach these players and the league players. The USTA wants to do the same. We need to work together to develop strategies that are
encouraging and exciting for both the player and the tournaments.
In a recent conference call with the NSMTA (our fellow senior men) and the USTA, we were excited to hear the USTA has been given a directive to grow the competitive numbers for age group tournaments. We suggested they start with the leagues, giving them the resources to learn and explore the Cat 1 and Cat 2 tournaments. We also suggested we be invited to the Nationals for both the individuals and team championships to talk and sell these wonderful tournaments we play. The USTA is listening and are eager to work together to grow the game and expand the horizon of the league player.
Are we, as an association, helping to grow this game? Currently more than half of our association’s budget will go to salaries and printing costs. If we had the funds to send our Ambassadors or Officers to these events, to host socials and promote programs for new players, we could uphold our association and our age
group tournaments. We are the future for new women coming into tennis and joining our Association. We must be on the forefront and work with the USTA and the NSMTA.
I want to hear from each of you. I want to know you have read this article. Send me your ideas of how we
can help grow this game for the future. I would like to know you are reading this magazine by your responses
with Letters to the Editor or directly to me. I haven’t heard enough from our extensive membership and I wish to know what you think about how we, as a group, can grow this game of tennis that we love so much.